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Professional Ethics For the Health and Safety Professional June 2004

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1 Professional Ethics For the Health and Safety Professional June 2004
ASSE Conference Las Vegas

2 Dr. Peter Strahlendorf B.Sc., LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D., B.E.S., CRSP
Associate Professor School of Occupational and Public Health Ryerson University Toronto, Canada

3 Pick One Ethics cannot be taught. You are able to sense what is right, good and just, and are motivated to act – or you are not. 2. While people differ in their abilities, most people can improve their ethical decision-making through education and practice.

4 A Personal Challenge to the Science-Oriented
Do we think differently when thinking scientifically than when thinking ethically? Can you find scientific answers to the questions “what is reasonable?”, or “what is fair”? This is part of the “art” of OHS practice.

5 Professional Ethics What is a “profession”? What is “ethics”?
What is “professional ethics”? Ethical theories Thinking about professional ethics Professional values Codes of Ethics

6 Do you agree? It is always wrong to intentionally take an innocent life?

7 Do you agree? The right course of action is to weigh the consequences of action and choose the action that leads to the greatest good for the greatest number?

8 Two Valid Moral Positions
The first is “Kantianism” Kant: Right or wrong regardless of consequences The second is “Utilitarianism” Utilitarianism: Right or wrong depending on consequences Most people agree with both positions

9 Dilemma The hijacked plane with 200 people is approaching a building with 50,000 people Vote! Will you shoot down the plane?

10 Dilemma You cannot subscribe to both principles in the case.
A true moral dilemma Which position has the greatest weight in the circumstances?

11 Orientation Aim to show several different ways to think through a problem in professional ethics, rather than merely describe what professionals say are their problems (sociology of ethics).

12 “Professional Ethics”

13 Profession All professions are occupations, but not all occupations are professions Can take a broad or narrow view of what is a “profession” A “self-regulated occupational group capable of legally prohibiting others (including incompetent or unethical members) from practising” is a narrow view

14 “Morality and the Professional Life”
Based Primarily on : “Morality and the Professional Life” Cynthia A. Brincat Victoria S. Wike Prentice Hall, 2000 ISBN

15 Profession 1. Group identity
2. Shared education, training requirements for admission 3. Special uncommon knowledge 4. Knowledge used in the service of others… positive social need 5. Involves individual judgment, (some) autonomy in decisions 6. Adherence to certain values 7. Penalties for substandard performance

16 Profession Matter of degree … there are many “emerging professions”.
Obstacle in the way of the OHS professional is the diverse nature of practice with competing co-professionals.

17 Profession You are not a professional until you are a member of a group of colleagues who have articulated a set of standards and values and can enforce them, at the very least, by exclusion from the group.

18 “Professionalism” 1. Skill, competency in work
2. Relational element – work will be beneficial to others Work itself doesn’t have moral status Execution of work has moral status

19 Recognizing when We’re in the Realm of Ethics
Watch the language: Right and wrong -- Actions Good and bad -- Motives, methods, goals

20 Professional Ethics Purpose… Helps professional decide when faced with a problem that raises a moral issue Complexity … Can be many people, with many issues involved … may be involved history to the issues … may be an issue WHO decides, not just WHAT decided.

21 Ethics and Morality Morality – making choices with reasons
Ethics – the study of HOW the choices are made, ie “ethics is the study of morality” Often use “ethics” and “morality” interchangeably

22 General vs Professional
General Ethics – individual as member of community, broader range of issues, “top down” principles Professional Ethics – moral expectations specific to the occupational group, tend to focus on concrete “bottom up” cases

23 Morality and Ethics Professional Morality – what we do in our occupational lives Professional Ethics – the study of what we do in our professional lives

24 Ethics and Law Law – the authority is external
Ethics – the authority is internal Much of law, but not all, is based in morality Sometimes law is unethical Much of what is ethical is unaddressed by legal rules

25 Professional Ethics and Law
There is a moral duty to obey the law (with some caveats) Professional ethics covers more issues than the law One can be unethical without behaving illegally Rare – ethically must resist the law

26 Professional Ethics and Law
Be very careful not to embark in an exercise in ethical analysis when there is a clear legal rule in the situation that trumps the entire process of ethical analysis.

27 Professional Ethics and Law
Be very careful not to assume that there is a legal rule for every situation. Often the gaps between legal rules require one to switch to an ethical analysis.

28 Ethics Descriptive ethics – “What IS”
Prescriptive ethics – “What OUGHT to be” We do not seek to study professional ethics as a sociologist would, but to assist with choices about what one ought to do.

29 Descriptive Ethics 2002 British study by Burgess and Mullen:
77% of hygienists had witnessed ethical misconduct by colleagues within last 5 years.

30 Descriptive Ethics Burgess and Mullen study. Most common cases:
Plagiarism Confidentiality of data Faked data Criticizing colleagues for gain Holding back, disguising data Destruction of data Not reporting incident deliberately

31 Descriptive Ethics Patricia Logan 2001, USA. Reported reasons for misbehavior, hygienists: Economic pressure Transition from employee to consultant results in compromises Working in foreign countries Lack of legal standards Working on contingency basis Decrease in job security

32 Descriptive to Prescriptive
Two very different ways of reasoning. Descriptive, or scientific, studies of professional ethics help us identify issues that need to be included in Code of Ethics and in educational programs. Gives us our “case studies”.

33 Prescriptive Ethics “What OUGHT to be”
The words used are different… good-bad, right-wrong, just-unjust Thought processes use values, goods, virtues, rules, ethical theories, moral reasons, moral explanations, and moral decisions.

34 Why the Interest in Professional Ethics?
As occupations become more specialized, the ethical issues become more specialized Professional societies have increased efforts to establish ethical codes to guide members Increasing public scrutiny, lack of traditional deference Regulatory oversight, public protection

35 Moral Reasoning

36 Machinery of Prescriptive Ethics
Rules – e.g. “always tell the truth” Values – e.g. Integrity The two are intimately related.

37 Prescriptive Ethics Judgments should be
“universalizable” or “generalizable” Judgments should apply to like cases and not be case-specific or subjective “If it applies to me now, it should apply to anyone else in a similar position.”

38 Moral Relativism Ethical values are relative to time, place and culture Moral beliefs are subjective and arbitrary “It’s all a matter of personal opinion” Decisions shift easily

39 Moral Absolutism Ethical values completely objective
Unchangeable, universal, no exceptions Comparatively inflexible Neither position tenable.

40 Objectivity Codes of ethics require objectivity, which means that there are principles and values outside of the individual that the members of the community share and that individuals will be measured against.

41 Objectivity “Thinking reasonably is thinking morally.” Samuel Johnson

42 Reasonable Person -- Peer
What would the reasonable peer do in the circumstances? Reasonable person: mature, sane, sober, well-informed, well-intentioned, open-minded, calm, detached but empathetic … Reasonable peer – add expertise.

43 Moral Decisions Reasons explain a decision:
Reason + Reason +… = Decision Explanation… System of reasons

44 A Moral Reason Is general, not particular or contingent
reason, not instinct or external authority not selfishness moral value, not economic, legal, social value

45 Moral Explanation At least one of the reasons justifying a decision is a moral reason. This identifies, but does not evaluate a moral explanation.

46 Dilemma Explanation 1 Reason + Reason + …  Decision 1 Explanation 2
May or may not be a MORAL dilemma

47 Non-Moral Dilemma 1. I should work late and finish the work I promised I’d finish. 2. I should leave and go to a party because I like parties and want to enjoy myself. 1. = universalizable, non-selfish, moral value (integrity, responsibility, promises…) 2. = non-moral reasons and decision.

48 Moral Dilemma Moral Explanation 1
Moral reason + reason +… = Decision 1 Moral Explanation 2 Moral reason + reason + … = Decision 2

49 Resolution of Dilemmas
Some dilemmas are resolved because they are not moral dilemmas. Some MORAL dilemmas can be resolved through a creative third alternative that satisfies both moral outcomes. Or, possible to sequentially act on each one. Or, evaluation will show which is strongest moral explanation and decision.

50 Evaluate Moral Reasons
STRONG relevant to decision concern with person(s) most affected by decision focussed on values of central importance WEAK tends to be irrelevant not concerned with person(s) most affected by decision emphasizes peripheral values

51 Evaluate Moral Explanations
STRONG use several perspectives (consequences, motives, rights, virtues, etc.) considers all persons many values WEAK narrow focus selective concern fewer values

52 Ethical Theories

53 A Moral Theory Is a broad perspective which:
helps us decide which element of a moral problem is most important (e.g. consequences, rights, goods, virtues, etc.) helps us resolve conflicts between rules and between values.

54 How We Come by Moral Theories
Family Religion Culture Experience and reflection Education

55 Moral Action Theories -- “Doing”
consequences for community rights of individuals duties of individuals What correct course of action should I take?

56 Moral Status Theories - “Being”
Virtue, character Care, relationships Narrative, history and plans What kind of person should I be?

57 Human Goods Life, health Knowledge Play Art Friendship
“Self-evidently good”

58 Human Goods Human life considered to be fundamental good, pre-conditional good Human life is not measurable, “life is priceless” Leads to dilemmas in the workplace

59 Consequentialism The greatest good for the greatest number
an act is right only if it tends to result in the greatest net good all acts are potentially permissible; depends on consequences all persons count equally difficult to determine which consequences, what probability, what weight? May sacrifice individuals for greater good

60 Consequentialism Utilitarianism is major consequentialist theory
Not the only one May aim for human goods as a matter of duty, without a strict utilitarian calculation

61 Rights-Based Theories
Right = justified claim on someone Right-holder may or may not claim right Which rights? Which rights more fundamental? Or pressing? An act is morally right if it respects and upholds rights Respects individuals, bearers of rights Good of community may be sacrificed for right of individual

62 Duty-Based Theories Duty = obligation, responsibility
Considers motive or intention of decision-maker, plus nature of act, rights, consequences Good motive, means are acceptable, nature of act is good Consequences are of secondary consideration Recognizes complexity Value of individual is important May sacrifice community good for the sake of individual duty

63 Kantianism Often viewed as a duty-based theory
But rights emerge from duty to treat others with respect X has a duty to Y Y has a right that X must respect E.g. right to know and duty to tell

64 Kantianism “Deontological” = prior to action
Decide if an act is right or wrong without looking at consequences Motivated by reason alone “Universal moral imperatives” Reason tells us that something is always right … all can follow without contradiction

65 Kantianism Duty to: “Always tell the truth”
“Always avoid taking an innocent life” “Always treat others as ends in themselves and never as means solely” Basis of respect for persons

66 Virtue-Based Theories
Act for the sake of virtue, or as a virtuous person would A virtue is a good character trait or disposition Tendency to act in a way that promotes human good or human flourishing Vice is a bad character trait More people affected by virtue than fewer More virtues expressed than fewer BUT, some virtues may be more important than others Whole person considered, not isolated acts Virtues may be culturally specific

67 Virtues Examples: Benevolence Justice Loyalty Friendliness Courage
Honesty Integrity

68 Moral Reasoning Part 2

69 Using Moral Theories Not what is decided, but HOW it is decided
Theories identify values and interpret values A person’s moral theory explains why they hold the values they do

70 Professional Ethics Professional’s work involves decision-making
One’s own decisions, decisions of others Relational component to professional work Must understand reasons and decisions of others Must make own decisions in context of others’ decisions

71 Moral Framework Provide a Moral Explanation by:
Appeal to a Rule (rightness, wrongness) Using a Theory (perspective) Applying a Value …in order to make a Decision

72 Moral Framework Analysis … decision is already made
Decision-making … decision still to come Analysis  DecisionRuleTheoryValue Decision-making 

73 Professional Values and Virtues

74 Common Professional Values
Integrity Honesty Promise keeping Loyalty Competence

75 Common Professional Values
Respect for persons Justice Compassion Confidentiality

76 Comparison Medicine and law: services relate primarily to persons
Engineering and other science based professions: services relate primarily to things OHS professional: services relate to both; more complex

77 Comparison Medicine and law: solo practice or partnership
Engineering: employee in organization OHS professional: Consultant, employee, official -- Wider issues of responsibility -- Relations, context, conflicts, values not always the same

78 Integrity Most common value in professional codes Keystone value
“Consistent commitment to moral commitments” “Structural integrity” = our moral character is the same, whole, integrated Can’t commit to conflicting standards and have integrity

79 Integrity and Honesty Related values Honest people “have integrity”
To be true to a system of values, one must be honest Integrity requires being committed to honesty Honesty is a way of valuing integrity

80 Problem Brilliant, first class OHS professional … but he suggested a scheme many years ago … we would advise clients only solution to a certain regulation was purchase of a very expensive storage tank for which we and our third partner (unknown to client) would have sole vending rights …

81 Integrity and Honesty Rules: admit errors
refrain from false/misleading pretences … competency advise clients truthfully don’t fool with the numbers don’t steal others’ work -- plagiarism

82 Problem A few years ago, heard that “Tony”, a former student was claiming that he was a professor in OHS at our university in his consulting adverts. Investigated: His flyer said “engaged with instruction at Ryerson in OHS for 4 years” .. . Verbally interpreted as “teaching”.

83 Problem “We like to order more copies of your training manual”
Never heard of the company; not a client. “How did you get original training manuals?” “Oh, Mr X used them when he did training for us last year.”

84 Integrity and Promise Keeping
Lack of integrity/honesty = “say X, mean Y” Integrity: follow through on promises Be careful about promises as may jeopardize integrity OHS consultant: promise more than one can deliver?

85 Problem Bait and Switch:
Albert Einstein does the pitch but Gomer Pyle shows up to do the OHS work ….

86 Problem Consultant promises to:
Get you to world class safety in 3 months Get your “accidents to zero” Ensure compliance Or head office wants you, the employee, to agree to the above.

87 Integrity and Loyalty/Dependability
“Avoid actions that degrade integrity of profession” = loyalty to profession Be loyal to profession’s goals If committed to profession, be committed to profession’s goals Dependability is a display of loyalty Loyalty to employer’s goals

88 Disloyalty to Profession’s Goals
OHS professional: Advocates high risk behaviour? Chooses incompatible values to promote? Displays risky behaviour in personal life?

89 Problem Member of a professional OHS group, certified by that group, set up his own designation and offered short courses for $ for people to obtain the designation. In his advertising, he said the new designation was “just as good” as the original, only half as expensive and 1/10 the time.

90 Conflicts Involving Integrity
Commitment to our commitments What if 2 or more commitments in conflict? Creatively find alternatives where not at odds Often values not in true conflict, but interpretation of values May be a greater commitment to some values than others; compromise necessary in world of scarce resources

91 Problem “Protect life, environment, and property.”
“Do not compromise.” Possible? Are the values of equal priority when commitments come into conflict?

92 “Whistleblowing” Disclosure of wrong-doing
Conflict: protection of life versus loyalty Honesty versus loyalty Honesty versus promise keeping

93 Problem Your report shows areas of high risk, non-compliance, errors etc. Your superior or client rewrites the report, eliminating your data and conclusions, or buries the report. Duty to warn in conflict with ….

94 “Whistleblowing” Explore all options to avoid conflict
Creativity and clarification often reduce conflict Compromise between values often possible Distinguish between internal versus public whistleblowing

95 “Whistleblowing” Some cases of public whistleblowing excessive and involve motives of spite, revenge, self-justification Best companies have addressed whistleblowing and protect it… provide internal mechanisms Hard cases requiring self-sacrifice actually rare, involve high risk

96 Competency Part of the meaning of “professional” is to possess special, uncommon knowledge and skills. Don’t have to be best in profession, just above threshold. Redundant to put in Codes of Ethics?, as incompetent person should not have been granted status, or should have been weeded out?

97 Competency – Duty to Maintain
Far more important is a duty to keep up, to maintain competence. As technology and knowledge improve, the bar of professional practice is raised. “Standing still” results in eventual incompetence.

98 Problem A few years ago, a well known member of the profession stated publicly that a failure to adopt behavior-based safety was professional malpractice (hence, unethical). Agree?

99 Problem Insofar as BBS is “behavioral psychology”, we would be missing out on cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology, etc. etc.

100 Solution Professional groups should be leery of declaring that certain theories and techniques are “true” or established. Better approach is the PDC approach where competing and novel ideas are not barred. Gradual, contingent acceptance is the pathway.

101 Areas of Competence Extremely important in a profession:
where people come from a wide variety of disciplines there are many areas of specialization, and there are other professions adjacent

102 Problems You are asked to provide expert evidence in an area that you are not truly an expert. Head office wants all locations to institute a certain safety technique about which you know little. You observe a colleague offering services in areas you know he or she has little competence.

103 Respect for Persons All persons are due basic respect and a dignity which is to be respected Kant: “treat every person as as end, and not as a means solely” Other people are not merely a method for our own goals; others have their own goals Others may be used with informed consent … contracts are moral

104 Respect for Persons Distributive justice - distributive criterion for basic respect and dignity is personhood Respect on a continuum - desert beyond the basic minimum Respect for certain aspects of others: integrity, wisdom, honesty, skill, experience Basis of respect for professional peers

105 Respect for Persons Professional - show basic respect for every person, even if not felt Not hypocrisy Many professional codes refer to a right to “respectful care” on part of client/patient Confidentiality, privacy, autonomy, choice, informed consent, self-development, empowerment

106 Problem OHS professional transferred to company’s gold mine in South Africa. A large portion of miners were HIV positive, and life expectancy averaged 2 years. Company’s unstated position that spending on safety uneconomical due to short life span of workers? Solution?

107 Justice Justice as “fairness”
Involves “balancing”, “weighing” and conforming to a standard Moral psychology: people have a “sense of justice” Four forms of justice: Commutative, distributive, retributive and procedural

108 Commutative Justice Unfair to leave a harm uncorrected.
X does harm to Y. Take from X to compensate Y so as to address the imbalance. Basis of law of torts. Fairness lies in putting people back in the position they would have been in had the harm not been done

109 Distributive Justice Fairness in distributions
Distribute X according to pre-agreed criterion Y (need, ability to pay, merit, status, personhood) We distribute DVD players on the basis of ability to pay, university degrees on the basis of merit, and human rights on the basis of personhood

110 Retributive Justice Balance severity of punishment with severity of harm for which punishment imposed Severe punishment for severe wrongs, light for slight Workplace discipline should be fair in such a balanced fashion.

111 Procedural Justice Fairness in decision-making about others’ interests
Unbiased decision-maker Hear both sides Mutual disclosure, notice Treat both sides equally Balance between the parties

112 Justice Treat like cases alike Justice  equality, Justice = equity
Equal and unequal treatment could both be “fair” “Rewarding” and “punishing” can both be “fair” Not always concerned with legal version(s) of justice

113 Justice in the Workplace
Fair compensation for services Equal treatment in process Unfair competitive practices Appropriate (fair) discipline Hearing both sides in a dispute No bias re grounds of discrimination

114 Professional Codes & Justice
Accountability -- punish professionals who violate standards Duty to report colleagues’ wrong-doing for retributive justice to be carried out Fairness: warning, reprimand, suspension, expulsion from group

115 Professional Codes & Justice
Fairness in distribution of professional services -- no discrimination More than one form of justice can be in play at same time

116 Compassion A professional is compassionate
No “relational sensitivity” = no professional life Compassion is a feeling No obligation to feel compassion, but an obligation to act compassionately Some believe professional is “dispassionate”

117 Compassion Concern for others
Strongly relational: employer-employee, colleague-colleague, professional-client Imagine (if you can’t ask) what it would be like in the other’s shoes Not “knowing better”, but “knowing as”

118 Compassion Two rules: Alleviate suffering
Act in other person’s actual (to them) best interest

119 Confidentiality Confidentiality regarding: Whose interests
Which interests

120 Confidentiality Confidential information of: Worker Employer Colleague

121 Confidentiality Medical information
CBI – confidential business information Legal rules exist in many jurisdictions for both.

122 Problem “You’ve won the contract but how about including these features of your competitor’s work – from his proposal -- into your services. We insist…” Should you? Aiding in a breach of confidentiality by the client?

123 Problem You signed a confidentiality agreement when consulting for a world class company - X. During the contract you learn many highly effective techniques. Later you are asked to give a talk at a PD conference on “X’s world class safety techniques”.

124 Problem If clear contractual language, not an ethical issue but a legal one. Yet, contractual non-confidentiality clauses do not typically capture experience. Not simple, outside of legal issue, as failure to share knowledge a breach of a professional standard. Lives may be saved with broader use of technique.

125 Problem You signed a confidentiality agreement, and began contract. Discovered: An issue of high risk, the company ignoring; or An issue of high risk, the company actively covering up, lying; or An issue of high risk, the company knows it’s in clear legal non-compliance.

126 Conflicts Human life versus property
e.g. Right to know versus trade secrets Human life versus environment e.g. Take time to ensure PPE of response crew versus speed in preventing chemical reaching natural environment

127 Conflict of Interest Usually refers to conflict between professional duties and personal interests Can also refer to conflict between professional duties/values and other values

128 Objective Decision-making
Often expressed in Codes of Ethics Opposite of subjectivity Does the decision and the reasoning behind it hold up to scrutiny by the “reasonable peer”? No bias, truthfulness, no conflict of interest

129 Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)
Commonly used to guide action Related to risk benefit analysis 1. What are alternatives? 2. Identify costs and benefits of each 3. Quantify 4. Calculate net gain of each 5. Choose one with greatest net gain

130 Criticism of CBA 1. Not all costs/benefits identified
2. Correct weight not given 3. Action may be greatest net gain but morally impermissible from another moral perspective 4. Appears “scientific” or “value free”; but not 5. Merely a utilitarian technique

131 Environmental Protection
1. Protect human interest in the environment, versus 2. Protect the environment “for its own sake” Environmental ethics is problematic: -- “rights” for non-moral creatures? -- universalizability of principles?

132 Protection of Property
Often denigrated as a value Compares poorly with “human life” Yet, pre-condition to many aspects of human flourishing Implicit in organizational values of commercial enterprises An issue in many dilemmas and cannot be ignored

133 Relations with Colleagues
Distinguish between duties to profession as an institution and duties to professional colleagues Don’t bring profession into disrepute Treat colleagues in a professional manner

134 Relations with Colleagues
Co-operative Respect Egalitarian Supportive and helpful Openness No blatant crude competition Intra-professional recognition based on merit Maintenance of discipline

135 Professional Codes of Ethics

136 Code of Ethics Clarifies values and rules Facilitates group cohesion
Instills necessary public confidence Used as framework for discipline

137 Code of Ethics -- The Audience
1. Members of profession 2. Clients, employers 3. Agencies and regulators 4. Public at large 5. Professional “competitors”

138 Code of Ethics -- Positive
1. Inspirational? 2. Educational? 3. Enforcement, self-policing 4. Resolve moral dilemmas? 5. Alert audience of expected standard of performance

139 Code of Ethics -- Negative?
1. Done to polish public image? 2. Protects professional monopoly? 3. Status symbol of emerging profession? 4. Can instill complacency (“we have a code of ethics, therefore we are ethical”) 5. Cannot create an ethics 6. Cannot truly codify ethics 7. Of marginal ability to resolve ethical dilemmas without collateral education

140 Code of Ethics Examine each statement in Code
Where do you see the professional values we have been reviewing? Do we agree they need “unpacking” and further study to see what they really mean in application? Do we agree that a Code of Ethics is good, but not sufficient?

141 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
Duty to serve and protect people, property and environment. Exercise duty with integrity, honor and dignity.

142 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
Principles: 1. Protect people, property and the environment through the application of state-of-the-art knowledge.

143 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
Principles: 2. Serve the public, employees, employers, clients and the Society with fidelity, honesty and impartiality.

144 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
Principles: Achieve and maintain competency in the practice of the profession. Avoid conflicts of interest and compromise of professional conduct. Maintain confidentiality of privileged information.

145 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
I shall: 1.Inform the public, employers, employees, clients and appropriate authorities when professional judgment indicates that there is an unacceptable level of risk.

146 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
I shall: Improve knowledge and skills through training, education and networking. Perform professional services only in the area of competence.

147 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
I shall: Issue public statements in a truthful manner, and only within the parameters of authority granted.

148 ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
I shall: Serve as an agent and trustee, avoiding any appearance of conflict of interest. Assure equal opportunity to all.

149 BCSP Code of Ethics “Certificants shall, in their professional safety activities, sustain and advance the integrity, honor, and prestige of the safety profession by adherence to these standards.”

150 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
1. Hold paramount the safety and health of people, the protection of the environment and protection of property in the performance of professional duties and exercise their obligation to advise employers, clients, employees, the public, and appropriate authorities of danger and unacceptable risks to people, the environment, or property.

151 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
2. Be honest, fair, and impartial; act with responsibility and integrity. Adhere to high standards of ethical conduct with balanced care for the interests of the public, employers, clients, employees, colleagues and the profession. Avoid all conduct or practice which is likely to discredit the profession or deceive the public.

152 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner and only when founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter.

153 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
4. Undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved. Accept responsibility for their continued professional development by acquiring and maintaining competence through continuing education, experience and professional training.

154 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
5. Avoid deceptive acts which falsify or misrepresent their academic or professional qualifications. Not misrepresent or exaggerate their degree of responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments.

155 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
5. Continued … Presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, or past accomplishments with the intent and purpose of enhancing their qualifications and their work.

156 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
6. Conduct their professional relations by the highest standards of integrity and avoid compromise of their professional judgment by conflicts of interest.

157 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
7. Act in a manner free of bias with regard to religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.

158 BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
8. Seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health and well-being of their community and their profession by sharing their knowledge and skills.

159 Summary Examination of professional ethics is important for the profession as an institution, and for individual professionals Solving problems can be very difficult – sometimes … Better ethical decision-making can come from education and practice Education is needed to supplement Code of Ethics

160 For an electronic copy of this presentation, please email me at:
And put on subject line “ethics talk”

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